It's official. My current character on LotRO is the highest level character I have ever had on LotRO, since Captain Imraheth is now 26th and has surpassed the Closed Beta (and less linguistically proper) Guardian Imrahis.
I have found it hard to keep up with some members of my kinship, who are power-levelers simply beyond my ability. At level 26, I feel pretty solidly in the middle of the pack; there are folks riding their horses around now (which means they must be 35th or more) but our kinship still has plenty of heroes in the 16-20 range.
It certainly has been helpful to have those highpockets around when it comes time to perform various difficult quests. In particular, Book II proved to be something of a mixed blessing. I thought it very interesting in terms of visuals and mood, but we blew through it all so fast that I was unable to really figure out everything that was going on. The Red Maiden seems to be a sort of riff on Goldberry, but the exact relationship is unclear to me. The name Iarwain Ben-Adar got tossed around a lot, and that's Tom Bombadil, who seems to have cursed Ivar of the Red Hand? I'm going to go back over my quest logs for Book II and see if I can figure it all out.
The flying Oathbreakers were sure cool, though, and I had a great time working with Radagast. It was actually kind of cool to get defeated when I did, since we managed to get far enough that Radagast was able to defeat Ivar on his own, without our help. A bit of a Pyrhhic victory for the Red Arrows then.